Table 1

Baseline characteristics of patients with acute respiratory tract infection openly randomised to rapid (within 24 to 48 hours) or delayed (after eight to twelve days) multiplex PCR assay resultsa

Variable

Rapid analysis group (n = 202)

Delayed analysis group (n = 204)


Demographics

Median age, yr (IQR)

39 (31 to 50)

39 (31 to 53)

Male sex, n (%)

79 (39.1)

90 (44.1)

Coexisting illnessesb, n (%)

Patients with available data

120 (59.4)

109 (53.4)

No reported coexisting illness

77 (64.2c)

68 (62.4d)

Asthma

14 (11.7c)

11 (10.1d)

COPD

2 (1.7c)

-

Allergies

6 (5.0c)

10 (9.2d)

Diabetes

2 (1.7c)

1 (0.9d)

Neoplastic disease

1 (0.8c)

2 (1.8d)

Autoimmune diseasee

3 (2.5c)

4 (3.7d)

Ischaemic heart disease/angina

2 (1.7c)

1 (0.9d)

Clinical findings

Median duration of symptoms, days (IQR)

5 (3 to 7)

5 (3 to 9)

Median body temperature, °C (IQR)

37.1 (36.6 to 37.5)

36.9 (36.6 to 37.4)

Body temperature ≥38.5°C, n (%)

6 (3.0f)

12 (6.0g)

Median heart rate, beats/minute (IQR)

76 (67 to 88)

78 (70 to 87)

Tachycardiah, n (%)

19 (9.4)

18 (8.8)

Median respiratory rate, breaths/min (IQR)

16 (14 to 19)

16 (14 to 19)

Hypoxiai, n (%)

9 (4.5)

8 (3.9)

Laboratory findings

CRP < 50 mg/L, n (%)

122 (83.6j)

140 (90.3k)

CRP ≥50 mg/L, n (%)

24 (16.4j)

15 (9.7k)

Symptoms, n (%)

Coryza

167 (82.7)

171 (83.8)

Sore throat

153 (75.7)

157 (77.0)

Headache

149 (74.1)

149 (73.0)

Dry cough

130 (67.0)

132 (67.0)

Productive cough

120 (59.4)

108 (52.9)

Shortness of breath

111 (55.0)

113 (55.4)

Fever

106 (52.7)

109 (53.4)

Myalgia

107 (53.0)

100 (49.0)

Red eyes

83 (41.1)

81 (39.9)

Joint pain

83 (41.1)

79 (38.7)

Chest pain

53 (26.2)

40 (19.6)

Diarrhoea

17 (8.4)

21 (10.3)

Vomiting

10 (5.0)

16 (7.8)

Rash

10 (5.0)

13 (6.4)


aIQR, interquartile range; COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; CRP, C-reactive protein; bcoexisting illnesses are those likely to influence the decision whether to prescribe antibiotics; conditions not included were fibromyalgia, lumbago, adenoids, migraine, depression, Parkinson's disease, hypothyroidism, osteoarthritis, Gilbert's syndrome, psoriasis, bradycardia, hepatitis C virus, scoliosis and pregnancy; cnumber of patients with data for coexisting illness, rapid analysis group (n = 120); dnumber of patients with data for coexisting illness, delayed analysis group (n = 109); eautoimmune diseases included inflammatory bowel syndrome (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis), systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and multiple sclerosis; fnumber of patients tested for body temperature, rapid analysis group (n = 198); gnumber of patients tested for body temperature, delayed analysis group (n = 201); htachycardia defined as heart rate ≥100 beats/minute; ihypoxia defined as pulse oximetry < 95%; jnumber of patients tested for CRP, rapid analysis group (n = 146); knumber of patients tested for CRP, delayed analysis group (n = 155).

Brittain-Long et al. BMC Medicine 2011 9:44   doi:10.1186/1741-7015-9-44

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